Published on February 5, 2013 by Feiwel & Friends
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Can I just say “wow?” I absolutely loved Cinder and now I’m not sure if I could pick a favorite between the two books. Scarlet introduces us to a new set of characters, including Scarlet and Wolf. The fairy tale re-tellings of this series already had me on the edge of my seat and Meyer pulls through with two fantastic reads, and a third on the way. For a futuristic take on Cinderella and Red Riding Hood, you’ll definitely want to check the Lunar Chronicles series out.
While I fell in love with the characters of Cinder (especially Kai), I wasn’t put off with the addition of a whole new cast in Scarlet. Meyer makes you love them just as much as the cast of the first book. Scarlet has the same strong will and stubbornness seen in Cinder, just with a different background. She holds her ground as one of the main focuses in the novel, working with the dark and dangerous Wolf. I think Wolf was a very diverse character, leaving you wondering who he really is and when you find out, I’m sure you’ll be as stunned as I was. Besides Scarlet and Wolf, we also get to meet Carswell Thorne who is an obnoxious flirt, but in a good way. I thought he added a touch of humor to an otherwise serious situation which made him a definite must for some of the scenes.
As for the story itself, Meyer brings out the growing tension between Earth and the Moon. Queen Levana is attempting to take over and there’s only one person who can stop her (but I’ll leave that a mystery in case you didn’t read the first book). Parts of Cinder’s past become clearer as Meyer tells Scarlet’s story. Their pasts are more connected than either of them realized, drawing them together near the end for a final farewell until book three. I didn’t expect to read the alternating storylines as I did but I ended up enjoying it. Having the different pieces slowly come together in a bigger picture. And the twists! If you go off of the fairy tales and put two and two together, it isn’t too hard to predict what happens in Cinder once you start reading it but with Scarlet, I had no idea. All I could do was keep reading and in the end, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for more.
I think the only thing about this book that didn’t flow quite right was the very beginning. I hadn’t really expected to have so much of Scarlet’s story right off the bat so I was still invested in Cinder and Kai as characters, but the adjustment was smooth and quick. There was a lot going on in this book with two different characters going on their separate adventures before coming together. It made for a longer book but also some dragging in places as the story was filled in more. My hope is that there isn’t too much more background info for this series because I feel like each book it’s going to become more tangled. The world Meyer creates is very elaborate and there’s a chance it could get out of hand (but hopefully not). And hopefully Cinder and Kai can get back together in Cress. Speaking of Kai…
Why, Kai?!?! Just….why?!
You’ll have to read Scarlet to understand my lament over Kai. If you like fairy tale retellings, this book (and Cinder) is for you. Meyer creates a futuristic world with its own problems at hand. Who could resist a war between the dwellers of Earth and those of the Moon? That’s pretty awesome if you ask me, especially with the tie-ins of famous tales. If you like sci-fi, adventure, action, and romance, this is the series for you. I’ll be impatiently waiting for book 3, Cress, to see where this story goes next.